Raising Awareness During American Pharmacists Month
Published on 05 November 2019
Every October, pharmacists all around the country celebrate American Pharmacists Month (APhM). Created in 2004 by the American Pharmacists Association, APhM recognizes pharmacists’ contributions to health care and raises awareness about the variety of services pharmacists provide.
With American Pharmacists Month recently coming to a close, Misty C. Farr, Pharm.D. ’10, pharmacy manager at Walmart Pharmacy, reflects on her passion for the profession and why increasing its visibility is important.
Why is celebrating APhM important?
I think American Pharmacists Month puts a positive spotlight on the profession, and it raises awareness about the different types of services we offer our patients.
Many people have no idea about our expansive scope of practice, and this month provides us with a unique opportunity to educate the public on how we can help them.
Whether it be by providing medication management services, administering vaccinations, facilitating diabetes and asthma adherence education, or something else, we are often the first health care professionals that patients see when they need medical advice, and we’re the last professional a medication is filtered through before the patient takes it home.
It’s our job to maximize the benefit of medications and minimize potential interactions and risks.
How has profession of pharmacy changed throughout your career?
When I graduated in 2010, I had never heard of a pharmacist writing a prescription or giving a vaccination. Today, pharmacies provide more immunizations than physician’s offices, and we are offering more services than ever before.
It’s amazing to see how pharmacy has changed, and I haven’t even been out of school for 10 years yet.
I look forward to seeing how the profession progresses over the next 10 years.
Why do you enjoy being a pharmacist?
I genuinely enjoy helping people! I’m originally from Southern Arkansas, so I was raised to treat my neighbors with kindness, and I have incorporated this idea into my career.
I predominately serve an African American population, and I love my community. I’m happy my patients are able to come to my pharmacy and see someone who looks like them. It’s important for patients to be comfortable and relate to their pharmacist on some level.
What makes working in a community pharmacy special?
I live in Florissant, Missouri, and I work here, so people are able to see me outside of the pharmacy. It’s nice because when I run into my patients outside of work, they like to introduce me to their friends as their pharmacist and explain how I have helped them in the past.
My patients are always appreciative, and they enjoy seeing me out and about in the community. It’s not uncommon for my patients to stop by the pharmacy just to say hi, or to ask for general life advice.
I’m not always the best at giving life advice, but I’m always happy to provide my opinion and be a person they feel comfortable talking to.
Farr has dedicated her career to serving the community, both within the pharmacy and through her volunteer work. She volunteers with Missionaries of Charity, St. Vincent Home for Children and participates in community health fairs, where she provides services ranging from health screenings and prescription consultations to information sessions and vaccinations.
Her work has earned her numerous accolades, including St. Louis College of Pharmacy’s Black Heritage Distinguished Alumni Award in 2016, the St. Louis American Foundation’s Salute to Excellence in Health Care Award in 2016, the Missouri Pharmacy Association’s Distinguished Young Pharmacist Award in 2016 and recognition as a finalist for the 2017 Next-Generation Pharmacist Patient Care Provider Award, a national award recognizing top pharmacy professionals who exemplify excellent patient care and customer service skills.